Really Ravishing Review (White Cat)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, June 29, 2010 ,
Review of White Cat, by Holly Black.

Quickie: Move this to the top of your TBR. It was superb.

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1)Full: Wow. Completely wow. I loved it. I've read some of Holly's other books, and this is my favorite by far. It was original, exciting, and I couldn't put it down. I love how Holly isn't afraid to write imperfect characters, how she's not afraid to write about uncomfortable situations and things other people would just rather not examine closely. 

White Cat follows a boy named Cassel Sharpe as he discovers the truth about himself and his past. He comes from a family of "workers" - people with the ability to work curses in luck, memory, emotions, even death. Cassel's the only one in his family who isn't a worker, and he is an outsider in all the normal social hives. He has no friends, only his "business" of being the school bookie. His mother's in prison, his father dead. His brothers are as all siblings are- imperfect. But blood is blood, right?

The Sharpe family is one of those families that are disturbingly interesting. If the workers put out their own tabloids, the Sharpe family would be in it often I think. And yes, I would surreptitiously read the headlines as I checked out at the grocery store. Maybe even sneak a peak inside once in a while. You love them, you hate them- doesn't matter. They're fascinating.

Ok well that part was kind of off on a bunny trail... but here is what I'm getting to: Read White Cat. (And then let me know what you thought of it! Even if you disagree!)

5 out of 5 stars.

Terrific Teaser Tuesday #3

Here it is, Tuesday again. :) Teaser Tuesday is brought to you by MizB at Should Be Reading.

This week's teaser is from White Cat, by Holly Black.

 "Unbidden the memory of the last time I saw Lila rises. I can smell the blood. I can feel the smile pulling at my mouth when I look down at her body."  (page 132)

Here is how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Remember to show the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Freaking Fantastic Flap-Copy

Simply because I am a HUGE fangirl of Melissa Marr's Faery Courts series (AKA Wicked Lovely series) I'm going to re-post the flap copy that she posted on her blog. Isn't it FAB!?

“Send the messengers for the faery courts. This is the end.”
The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the faery courts, and in the final conflict, some will win…and some will lose everything.

The exhilarating conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.


*dies* I can't wait!! Darkest Mercy can't get here soon enough! Darkest Mercy

Fairly Flabbergasted Fence-Sitter (City of Bones)

literati_rain66 Monday, June 28, 2010 ,
Review of City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare. City of Bones is book 1 in the Mortal Instruments series.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)
Quickie: I enjoyed 85% of the book. The other 15% made me want to vomit. I think it will depend on the reader's personality as to whether or not they will like this one.

Full: Well. How about that. I really don't know what to say. I think to properly voice my opinion, I will have to review City of Bones in two parts. The first 85%, and then the last 15%.

Was great. There was enough mystery, action, suspense, and romance to make me love it. Clary, our main gal, lives a seemingly normal life until one night she is witness to strange happenings in a club. The next night her mother disappears, opening up a whole new world for Clary. Demons, werewolves, vampires, warlocks- it's all there. Clary has to re-learn her past and discover her future, all while searching for her mother and the key to her rescue- the Mortal Cup.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Vomit. I can't say too much here, since this was the ending and thus riddled with spoilers. But I will say I saw the signs. I hoped like crazy that it wasn't going to turn out like I thought. But it did. I've never been mad at an author before, but I was here. I was mad at her for putting me through that. And for the poor characters. For the absolute horribleness of it all. I realize things like this are highly controversial, and some folks see no problem with putting it in a book. But well, I was put-off by it to say the least.

All that said, I still enjoyed the book, and I plan to read the rest of the series. I want to see what happens.

The plot was predictable at times, but that was okay. I do so enjoy being correct in my predictions. ;-) The characters were diverse and believable. She did a great job of making her characters "gray". Gray characters are neither explicitly good or evil, they are a combination. Her villain was pretty much a villain, but the rest of her characters were a good gray. 

I give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5. 

My Magnificent Mailbox #3

literati_rain66 Sunday, June 27, 2010
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

From the Nantucket Hospital Thrift Shop:
Wild Magic - Tamora Pierce
Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper Case Closed - Patricia Cornwell
The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Dates From Hell - Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Lori Handeland
Touch The Dark - Karen Chance
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
The Vampire Diaries (The Awakening and The Struggle) - L.J. Smith

From the Library:
White Cat - Holly Black

From Nantucket Bookworks:
My Almost Epic Summer - Adele Griffin
ARC of Collusion - Stuart Neville
ARC of Bad Boy - Peter Robinson

Jemima J - Jane Green

What did you get?

Fabulous Free Fiction #3

literati_rain66 Saturday, June 26, 2010
Up for grabs: An ARC of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead by Mark Twain and Don Borchert. Releases August 2010.

Back cover:
Tom Sawyer. Zombie Hunter. 
Or at least that's the plan. It's Tom Sawyer like you've never seen him before, in a swash-buckling, treasure-seeking adventure spiked with blood, gore, and zombie madness. 
In this expanded and illustrated edition of Mark Twain's beloved tale of boyhood adventure, Tom's usual mishaps are injected with a taste of the macabre, in a world overrun by a zombie virus known in the South as "Zum". The United States is infected with a plague of rotting, yet spry, Zum searching for fresh meat.
In this world, there's no need to whitewash Aunt Polly's fence. Instead, Tom cons his friends into sharpening the fence posts to stop a Zum attack. To escape the constraints of civilized life, Tom and his pal Huckleberry Finn don't have to fake their deaths, just pretend to be Zum. And instead of cowboys and Indians, Tom practices his fighting skills in a bloodthirsty game of "Us and Zum" - and he always wins.
When vicious, self-aware zombies emerge and threaten the town... how will Tom and Huck win, and live to tell their tale?
With all the comedy, romance, and adventure that readers expect from Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer now becomes a new breed of hero - a grade-A zombie hunter.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead

I got this ARC, but frankly I don't have the time to read it. I have to prioritize my TBR lists, and while this one does look interesting, I just don't think I have time to read it before it comes out and I'd like to give someone else the chance. :)

To Enter:
Comment on this post.
+1 for following this blog
+1 for following me on Twitter (literati_rain66)
+2 for Tweeting about this contest (please @ me or leave links)
And you must promise to let me know what you thought of it once you've read it. :) Comment, Tweet, email, link to your review, whatever. I'd love to know your thoughts.

US and Canada only. Contest open until Saturday, July 3rd at noon. Winners announced soon after.


Wonderfully Wacky Winner!!

literati_rain66 Friday, June 25, 2010
That's right! We have a winner for the ARC of You, by Charles Benoit! Congratulations to SM_Schmidt! The Random number generator at selected you! Please send me your shipping information at redraindrops66(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Only One Opinion (The Iron King)

literati_rain66 Thursday, June 24, 2010 , ,
Review of The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa.

Quickie: Slow to start, but an interesting faery story. Worth a read.
The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)
Full: I almost put this one down. The first half felt like every other faery story out there, and I had no real motivation to continue. I was told it would get better, and it did, although my thoughts at the end were still, "Meh.".

Meghan is our MC, and she lives on a pig farm with her mom, half brother Ethan, and her step-dad Luke. She doesn't believe that anybody really cares about her, she expects her mother to forget her birthday, etc. It's your basic "My life sucks and nobody likes me" start.

Her half-brother Ethan is stolen and replaced with a changeling, and Meghan and her trusty trickster friend Robbie go off to Faeryland to get him back.

I'll stop there, since I try to be spoiler free. ;-)

My reasons for feeling "Meh" about the book:
1. Robbie Goodfell? Oberon? Mab? Seriously? I've read that one before. And other versions. And adaptations. I'm just tired of seeing the poor characters from A Midsummer Nights Dream used and reused over and over.
2. I don't honestly believe Meghan would care all that much about the Nevernever (Faeryland). It's done nothing but try to kill her since she got there. (Seriously. It was one thing after the other, without pause.) I for one certainly didn't care about the Nevernever in this story. They are all evil killers who have no heart. What a joy... And yet she wants to save them?
3. Continuing with the saving them... how does she expect to save them when she is so.... blah? She tells Prince Ash not to kill Human because Human doesn't know what he's doing... while Human is trying to kill them all. Right.

1. The characters that you do like are pretty cool. I was a fan of Grimalkin, the cat. Probably just because he was a cat. :-p I got annoyed with Puck, the egotism and constant jokes felt forced to me. Prince Ash was cold, as he was supposed to be. I got the feeling I was supposed to be rooting for one or the other for a romantic relationship with Meghan, but I just didn't like either boy enough.
2. The story concept was interesting. The Iron Fey were fresh and the story element that kept me reading. I see potential for the next book, especially if it picks up where The Iron King left off.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5, although I have hopes for the next one in the series.

The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)

Terrific Teaser Tuesday #2

literati_rain66 Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

This weeks' teaser is from The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa. 
"The chimera roared, three voices rising to a deafening shriek. The crowd scattered as the monster gathered its hindquarters under it and leaped into the fray. It came down beside a fleeing redcap and lashed out with a claw-tipped paw, catching the faery in the stomach and disemboweling it instantly." (page 172)

Here is how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Remember to show the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Really Ravishing Review (You)

literati_rain66 Monday, June 21, 2010 ,
Review of You, by Charles Benoit. Releases September 1st, 2010. Ages 14 and up.

Quickie: Thought-provoking and sad. I can see this being discussed in classrooms and book clubs in the future.

Full: You was good. (my poor brain desperately wants to fix that sentence.) This book is in second person, putting you in the position of Kyle, a 15 year old "hoodie". Known in other parts as the "stoners" or "freaks" or "low-lives". His parents and teachers all tell him he could do better, that he just isn't trying. He gets hounded for his clothes, his lack of job, car, girlfriend, etc. It's the story of today's out-of-reach teen and his ultimate destruction.

I'll be honest, the second person POV threw me at first. It's been a long while since I've read in the second person. But it worked. It succeeded in sucking the reader in and it certainly made it feel more dramatic.

You know the end of the story at the beginning, which seems like it would make the book pointless, but it's not. Like so many things in life, it's the journey, the getting there, that matters. You wonder if he had maybe chose differently, would it still end the same? What if his dad showed an interest? What if his mom didn't pester him all the time? What if he'd never met Zack? What if he'd never met Ashley? Would it have changed anything?

You was a refreshing read after so many recent books that have been so similar. I enjoyed it, sad though it was. If you read A Separate Peace and understood it and thought it interesting, you'll enjoy You. (Heck... even if you didn't like A Separate Peace, you'll probably like You. You is a much more modern book, and it's easy to relate to)

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Don't forget to enter to win an ARC of You!

My Magnificent Mailbox #2

literati_rain66 Sunday, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This week was a rather good one, book-wise. Woohoo!

From Amazon:
The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
Claire de Lune, by Christine Johnson
Raised By Wolves, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Shade, by Jeri Smith-Ready

From Catie:
Carpe Corpus, by Rachel Caine

from Aine:
Unbound (Anthology) with Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, and Jocelynn Drake

From Nantucket Bookworks:
ARC of Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman
ARC of You, by Charles Benoit
ARC of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead, by Mark Twain and Don Borchert

Thank you Catie and Aine!! I love getting packages! :)

Fabulous Free Fiction #2

literati_rain66 Friday, June 18, 2010 ,

That's right! Another giveaway! The book up for grabs is an ARC of You, by Charles Benoit. It releases on September 1st, 2010.

Back Cover:
This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?
There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?
You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction.
In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.

I'm reading this right now, and although I will give my full review later, I'll say that I'm already sucked in. :)

To Enter:
Comment on this post
+1 for following this blog
+1 for following me on Twitter (literati_rain66)
+2 for Tweeting about this contest

US and Canada only. Contest is open until Friday, June 25th at noon. Winners announced soon after, check back to see if you've won!


Really Ravishing Review (Son of the Shadows)

literati_rain66 Thursday, June 17, 2010 , ,

Review of Son of the Shadows, by Juliet Marillier.

Quickie: Beautiful, heart-wrenching, and engrossing. Get this book!

Full: Son of the Shadows is the second book in the Sevenwaters Trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book, Daughter of the Forest. The trilogy is set in old Ireland, where the "old ways" are still alive.  Magic and The Fair Folk are key elements in the characters' lives.

Juliet Marillier paints a stunningly beautiful portrait of Ireland in the days of castle keeps and homespun clothing. She also makes me thankful to not live back then... when men had the final say in everything and could choose a woman's future for her. It was painful to read at times, knowing this sort of thing really has happened. But Liadan, the daughter of Sorcha (who you meet and love in book 1), is a strong woman and she isn't about to let a man choose her fate.

If you're looking for some great fantasy, romance, folk lore, and strong characters, take a look at the Sevenwaters Trilogy. (Side note- Yes, the cover is creepy. Don't judge the book by the cover! :p)

5 stars out of 5.

Only One Opinion (Girl Parts)

literati_rain66 Sunday, June 13, 2010 ,
Review of Girl Parts, by John M. Cusick

Quickie: It was unsatisfactory to me

Full: I thought that the story line was fascinating and held much potential, but was ultimately disappointed. The concept was interesting: Help disassociated boys (why just boys?) who were too wrapped up in technological gadgets form appropriate relationships with the opposite sex by giving them a "Companion"... aka a fembot. This fembot was programmed to give an electronic shock to the boys if they tried to cop a feel or whatnot before a certain amount of time. The rich snotty boy, David, gets a fembot and once he discovers that she has no "girl parts" shuns her and makes her feel worthless. She runs away, right into Charlie- the quiet misfit boy. Charlie feels more comfortable with her since she isn't real, and befriends her. Things happen (I won't spoil everything for you!) and the fembot gets taken back by the company.

My main complaint with the book is that it was undeveloped. There was so much untapped potential! The character of Doctor Roger, for example. He's a strange new guidance counselor who recruits the boys into the "Companion" program. There is a scene where Dr. Roger is sitting with Charlie, and Charlie discovers that Dr. Roger's "private" meetings with him were in truth being recorded, probably by the big company. In anger Charlie runs out of the room. That's it. I sat there a moment thinking, "That's it?". No pursuit. No anything. No ramifications of any kind. Dr. Roger himself could have been totally awesome in his creepy all-knowingness, but he just lacked.

Another problem I had was the ending. I wasn't satisfied. You don't really know the fate of the fembot- who by the end I was respecting and wishing well. The boys only know that the company has reclaimed her. Was she decommissioned? Torn apart? Reset? You never find out. I really wanted her to run away and live her own life.
It seems to me that this is a book for boys. *shrug* I think it might be one of those books that I just plain didn't get. A lot of it focused on sex, and teen males wanting sex sex sex. Both boys do end up getting sex, which was.. odd. There wasn't much of a lesson, if there was supposed to be one. Honestly it was hard to tell.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

Wonderfully Wacky Winners!

Okay! We have a winner for the ARC of Girl Parts! Congratulations Travis! Email me your shipping info at redraindrops66(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll get it in the mail. :)

We also have a winner for the Giggly Guessing Game! Congratulations Catie! The real number of books on those shelves is 366, but you were the closest with your guess of 260. Send me your shipping info, por favor. :)

Giggly Guessing Game

literati_rain66 Wednesday, June 9, 2010
So here's the deal. Hubby and I rearranged the living room, and in doing so, I had to remove my books from two of my shelves. He kept commenting on how many books I had, and finally he made me count them. Now, this isn't all I have, but it's easiest to just to do these two bookcases.

This is a CONTEST. *grin*

How to Enter:
Guess how many books are on these two bookcases and leave your guess in a comment. You can try and count, but honestly, you're better off guessing. Why? A few of the books are Omnibuses (Omnibi?) and on the shorter shelf there are a few DVD and Xbox games. Plus, I couldn't get all the books in from the angle I took the picture from, so a few are hidden. Mwahaha. The DVD tower on top of the shorter bookcase don't count, obviously.

The first person to guess how many books are there gets an ARC of The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Granted, the book is already out, but I know there are a lot of people out there who like to have arcs for the sake of having arcs. Plus, I don't have room on my shelves. :p

If you don't follow me on Twitter, then please leave your email address so I can contact you should you win. Otherwise I will let you know via a post here and on Twitter.

Contest is open to US Residents only. Contest will close A) As soon as someone guesses correctly or B) Sunday, June 13th, in which case the closest guess will receive the arc.

Happy guessing!

Don't forget to enter the Girl Parts ARC giveaway! Contest closes on Saturday!

My Magnificent Mailbox

literati_rain66 Monday, June 7, 2010 , ,

Okay, so it's really "In My Mail Box", but I have to stick with my theme and keep it three words all beginning with the same letter.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

I've gotten a lot of books this week. *grin*

, by Jenna Black
The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke
The Rose and the Beast- Fairy Tales Retold, by Francesca Lia Block
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans
As Easy As Falling Off The Face Of The Earth, Lynne Rae Perkins
So Cold The River, by Michael Koryta
Shift, by Tim Kring and Dale Peck
The Art of Devotion, by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
Fragile, by Lisa Unger
Beat The Band, by Don Calame
The Reckoning, By Kelley Armstrong

How about you? Did you get anything good?


I also have a review for you. I recently finished Spirit Bound, by Richelle Mead. This is the 5th installment in the Vampire Academy series. Love this series. I practically ate the first 3 books. For those of you who read Blood Promise and were less than impressed- have no fear. Spirit Bound makes up for it. We're back in the environment I was comfortable with- Saint Vlad's. I can't say much without giving out some serious spoilers, but I will say that I quite enjoyed it. Rose is growing as a person, and although the mommy in me wanted to smack her upside the head a lot, it was a fun ride. Growing up and shouldering responsibility is hard, and Spirit Bound is proof.

Anyhow, give The Vampire Academy series a shot, if you haven't yet. :)

Fabulous Free Fiction

literati_rain66 Sunday, June 6, 2010

Translation: Another giveaway! This time I'll be giving away an ARC of Girl Parts, by John. M. Cusick. Girl Parts is YA (14 and up) and will be released in August, 2010.

Back Cover:
David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat his “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious redheaded Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend. In a stunning and hilarious debut, John Cusick takes rollicking aim at internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uber-connected world.

To enter:
Reply to this post with a comment.
Answer these questions: Do you think we are on the path to becoming a disassociated world? Are we already?
+1 for following this blog
+1 for following me on Twitter (literati_rain66)
+1 for Tweeting about this contest (leave link)
+1 for being a Rather Lovely

Open to US and Canada only. (sorry guys) Contest is open until Saturday, June 12th at midnight. Winner will be announced Sunday, June 13th, so make sure to check back!

Wonderfully Wacky Winner!!

literati_rain66 Wednesday, June 2, 2010 , , ,
We have a winner for Halfway to the Grave! Winners are chosen via the random number generator at Congratulations to Jesilea! Please send your mailing address to redraindrops66(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thank you for entering!

Along with the winner announcement, I also have a review.

I just finished Magic Bleeds, by Ilona Andrews. (Same book from Teaser Tuesday) I can't rave enough about this series. Kate is my dream character. She's witty, she's tough, and she knows who she is. I'm all for a strong, independent female character and boy, can Kate deliver!

I love Ilona's brand of humor. I rarely laugh out loud while reading a book, but Ilona has had me in stitches. (Not to mention she's had me moaning, groaning, and muttering, "Curran, Curran, Curran..." to myself while reading in the tub.)

The world is intricate and interesting. The characters are diverse, believable, and real. I am happy to tell you that there will be seven books in the Kate Daniels series. (YAY!) Magic Bleeds is number four, with a novella in the Must Love Hellhounds Anthology. If you've yet to discover the post-apocalyptic world that Kate lives in, you simply must. Trust me, you'll thank me later. ;-)

Terrific Teaser Tuesday

literati_rain66 Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should
Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

"You will wait by the phone for my call, and when it rings, you will pick it up and you will speak to me in a civil manner. If you don't know how, ask someone."

This week's teaser comes from Magic Bleeds - book four in the Kate Daniels series, by Ilona Andrews. This is a superb series and it comes highly recommended from yours truly. If you're a fan of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal... go buy the first book, Magic Bites! Hop to it!

Now, if you have a Teaser Tuesday of your own, leave a comment with a link! Or if you don't have a blog, leave your teaser sentences in the comment. :)